Students at Oxford University in the UK have voted to ban beef and lamb from campus canteens, The Oxford Student reported.
A motion mandating the student union to call for banning beef and lamb in University catering services was passed on Monday (Nov 16) with 31 votes to 9 and 13 abstentions. The ban will cover university-operated catering outlets and university-organised events, but not food served in college halls or cafes.
The student union representatives hope that the ban will help reduce the University’s greenhouse emissions. The University earlier admitted that it has missed its 2021 carbon emissions goal.
The Oxford Student quoted Agatha Edevane, one of the students who drafted the motion, as saying that ‘substituting beef and lamb produce is probably the single most impactful change the authorities can encourage in behaviour at the university to reduce our collective impact on climate change.’
“Regardless of its origin, food consumption based on animal farming is responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions which can be substantially reduced by plant-based diets. I hope that Oxford can join other thought-leaders in influencing through this important change and demonstrate that tackling climate change is something we are all involved in. Alternative food offerings can also be sourced from local enterprises and can therefore contribute to the local economy.” she added.
A number of prominent universities in the UK have opted for veganism in a bid to combat the environmental impact of the meat industry.
The University of Cambridge has banned beef and lamb and reported a 33% reduction in carbon emissions per kilogram of food purchased and a 28% reduction in land use per kilogram of food purchased. LSE, Goldsmiths and the University of London have all also banned the sale of beef or lamb in campus outlets in recent years.
Reacting to the decision of the student union, a spokesperson for Oxford University said “The University is currently consulting on a draft sustainability strategy which will be approved next year and includes proposals to reduce the carbon and ecological impact of the food it supplies. These policies will be further developed in the light of the consultation response.”
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